Spokane Journal of Business

Avista's net income drops

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Avista Corp., of Spokane, reported this morning 2012 fourth-quarter net income of $15.9 million, or 26 cents a diluted share, down from $24.6 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
For all or 2012, the company posted net income of $78.2 million, or $1.32 a share, down from $100.2 million, or $1.72 a share. However, it confirmed its projections for a rebound in earnings this year.
Scott L. Morris, Avista's chairman, president, and CEO, said in a press release, "We had a challenging year in 2012, with earnings below expectations, reflecting underperformance in all of our business segments."
Morris said warmer weather in the first and fourth quarters contributed to the lower earnings, as did slower-than-expected integration of acquisitions at energy-management subsidiary Ecova Inc. Also, the company had increased expenses from its voluntary severance incentive program, through which 56 people left the company at the end of last year.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a rate increase at Avista that went into effect at the beginning of this year, with another rate increase scheduled to take place Jan. 1, 2014. The Idaho Utilities Commission approved a rate hike that will take effect April 1, with another bump set for Oct. 1.
Morris said, "We believe that we are well positioned for significant improvement in our 2013 consolidated results and are confirming our consolidated earnings guidance range of $1.70 to $1.90 per diluted share."

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